Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail (Oprah's Book Club)

Malika Oufkir

Published by Miramax Books, 2001
ISBN 10: 0786868619 / ISBN 13: 9780786868612
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Synopsis: The daughter of a former aide to the king of Morocco, who was executed after a failed assassination attempt on the ruler, describes how she, her five siblings, and her mother were imprisoned in a desert penal colony for twenty years.

Review: Oprah Book Club® Selection, May 2001: At the age of 5, Malika Oufkir, eldest daughter of General Oufkir, was adopted by King Muhammad V of Morocco and sent to live in the palace as part of the royal court. There she led a life of unimaginable privilege and luxury alongside the king's own daughter. King Hassan II ascended the throne following Muhammad V's death, and in 1972 General Oufkir was found guilty of treason after staging a coup against the new regime, and was summarily executed. Immediately afterward, Malika, her mother, and her five siblings were arrested and imprisoned, despite having no prior knowledge of the coup attempt.

They were first held in an abandoned fort, where they ate moderately well and were allowed to keep some of their fine clothing and books. Conditions steadily deteriorated, and the family was eventually transferred to a remote desert prison, where they suffered a decade of solitary confinement, torture, starvation, and the complete absence of sunlight. Oufkir's horrifying descriptions of the conditions are mesmerizing, particularly when contrasted with her earlier life in the royal court, and many graphic images will long haunt readers. Finally, teetering on the edge of madness and aware that they had been left to die, Oufkir and her siblings managed to tunnel out using their bare hands and teaspoons, only to be caught days later. Her account of their final flight to freedom makes for breathtaking reading. Stolen Lives is a remarkable book of unfathomable deprivation and the power of the human will to survive.

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Title: Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail ...
Publisher: Miramax Books
Publication Date: 2001
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: very good

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Malika Oufkir; Michele Fitoussi
Published by Miramax Books (2001)
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